Why major ASC chains are primed to dominate the market

Thirty percent of the ASC industry is owned and operated by big surgery center chains, according to VMG Health's "Annual Healthcare M&A Report 2023."

More higher acuity procedures have begun to shift from HOPDs to ASCs. This shift has led to an increased interest in the surgery center market, spelling good news for major ASC chains.  

Here is the estimated ASC market share breakdown by center count in 2022:

1. Freestanding centers: 69.1 percent

2. United Surgical Partners International, part of Tenet Healthcare: 7.3 percent

3. SCA Health, part of Optum: 5.3 percent 

4. AmSurg, part of Envision Healthcare: 4.3 percent

5. HCA Healthcare: 2.5 percent

6. Surgery Partners, backed by Bain Capital: 2.4 percent

Though the majority of ASCs remain independent, consolidation is still a valid threat. This threat is exacerbated by low reimbursement rates coupled with inflation and high operating costs, causing ASCs to search for ways to ease the burdens of operation, such as partnering with chains or health systems. 

These market conditions could mean big gains for ASC chains, but a potential loss for independent surgery centers. 

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